Ransom

Overview

Ransom, Jay McInerney's second novel, belongs to the distinguished tradition of novels about exile. Living in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, Christopher Ransom seeks a purity and simplicity he could not find at home, and tries to exorcise the terror he encountered earlier in his travels—a blur of violence and death at the Khyber Pass.Ransom has managed to regain control, chiefly through the rigors of karate. Supporting himself by teaching English to eager Japanese businessmen, he finds company with ...

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Ransom

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Overview

Ransom, Jay McInerney's second novel, belongs to the distinguished tradition of novels about exile. Living in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, Christopher Ransom seeks a purity and simplicity he could not find at home, and tries to exorcise the terror he encountered earlier in his travels—a blur of violence and death at the Khyber Pass.Ransom has managed to regain control, chiefly through the rigors of karate. Supporting himself by teaching English to eager Japanese businessmen, he finds company with impresario Miles Ryder and fellow expatriates whose headquarters is Buffalo Rome, a blues-bar that satisfies the hearty local appetite for Americana and accommodates the drifters pouring through Asia in the years immediately after the fall of Vietnam.Increasingly, Ransom and his circle are threatened, by everything they thought they had left behind, in a sequence of events whose consequences Ransom can forestall but cannot change.Jay McInerney details the pattern of adventure and disillusionment that leads Christopher Ransom toward an inevitable reckoning with his fate—in a novel of grand scale and serious implications.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hard on the heels of McInerney's celebrated first novel, Bright Lights, Big City LJ 10/1/84 comes this tragic tale of a young American in Kyoto. Christopher Ransom, who hates his first name, has spent two years in a karate dojo trying to purge himself of his past and reclaim the spiritual bearings he has lost. He finds, though, that ``You can run, but you can't hide.'' The TV shows the Japanese love most are those produced by his estranged father. He is haunted by the memory of Annette, in whose death he had some complicity. And he's constantly hounded by crazed DeVito, a dishonorably discharged ex-Marine with a samurai haircut, who longs to study kendo with real swords rather than bamboo staves. The comic vision that informed Bright Lights surfaces again here, primarily in Ransom's gaijin amusement with the natives' imitation of anything American. Otherwise, this is a novel of high seriousness. Highly recommended. David Sowd, Stark Cty. District Lib., Canton, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394741185
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1985
  • Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 823,233
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Jay McInerney
Jay McInerney

The author of seven novels and two collections of essays on wine, Jay McInerney is a regular contributor to New York, The New York Times Book Review, The Independent and Corriere della Sera. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy and Granta. In 2006, Time cited his 1984 debut, Bright Lights, Big City, as one of nine generation-defining novels of the twentieth century. He was the recipient of the 2006 James Beard Foundation’s M.F.K.

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